A blog about writing . . . and a lot of other things

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Getting old before my time

I know that I'm not that old.  I do.  But sometimes I feel old.  It might have something to do with having four surgeries in eighteen months, but it goes deeper than that. I will present the evidence and you can tell me what you think.

Twelve Reasons I Think I'm Old

  1. Classic Rock stations play music from my childhood.
  2. I care deeply about retirement. (Although this could be because I'm an accountant.)
  3. When dining out I spend half an hour evaluating different options based on whether they will work with my specific physical, dietary, and financial requirements.  99% of the time I decide it's easier to eat at home.  Besides, then I don't have to put on real pants.
  4. The "hottest bachelors" in People Magazine look like they aren't old enough to vote, let alone get married.
  5. I've paid less than a dollar per gallon for gas, and it doesn't feel like it was that long ago.  Except it was nearly 20 years ago, and this is why I'm old.
  6. I'm not too cool to do that stupid dance.  I'm just pretty sure my knees aren't up to it.
  7. Similarly, I now take glucosamine for my joint health.
  8. Children I once taught are married with school-age children of their own.  These are not the kids that got knocked up in high school.
  9. Movies and television shows from my childhood now look really old.  Have you tried watching an episode of MacGyver?  It's grainier than Perry Mason was when I was a kid.
  10. Speaking of Perry Mason, it started in 1957, which means that it was about as old when I was watching it as MacGyver would be to my kids today.
  11. Buildings my age have dry rot.
  12. It has been thirty-five years since the Blazers won the NBA Championship.  I'm getting old here, people!
So, since I'm officially old, here's some fun nostalgia from my childhood.  A lot of it is very local, so it may only work for kids who grew up in Portland watching too much TV.

The Pop Shoppe.  When I was a kid we always had a red crate from the Pop Shoppe full of bottles of soda.  We'd take the crate of empty bottles back to the Pop Shoppe and exchange them for full bottles of all different kinds of soda.  It was like magic!  I miss it.  This is silly of me since I can't drink soda any more (because I'm old) and if I did I could always get it at Cosmic Soda Pop and Candy Shop.

The Kite Man.  Just watch the commercial.  Either you saw it as a kid or you didn't.  Either way it is WEIRD.  The 'stache is awesome, though, isn't it?

Ramblin' Rod.  I told you I watched too much TV.  When I was a kid the coolest thing in the world was being on Ramblin' Rod and getting to smile into the camera and cheer for the cartoons.  Now the whole thing seems creepy to me, but much of my childhood does.  This clip on YouTube is especially awesome because it mentions The Pop Shoppe.  (I am not receiving any endorsements from The Pop Shoppe.  I promise.)

He-Man.  Yet more TV.  Is that all I ever did?  Yes.  Back then excessive TV-watching was considered a sign of intelligence.  I'm not going to provide a link to this one because it still gets some syndication, which I find especially impressive considering how absolutely dreadful the show is.  

Hostess Choco-Bliss.  I spent my childhood consuming a lot of Hostess treats.  However, by the time I reached adolescence the pathetic Ding-Dongs and Cupcakes of my childhood were replaced by the wonder of the Choco-Bliss.  Two layers of devils food with a whipped chocolaty filling and chocolate frosting.  Mmmmm.  I was walking to 7-Eleven to buy one of these tasty treats in high school when I was picked up by the cops for violating curfew.  That's why they discontinued them.  They were contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  X-Entertainment has a nice discussion of the demise of this particular snack cake and a really awesome TV commercial.

Is there anything you are particularly nostalgic about?


  1. I am similarly old. I think most of the "hottest bachelors" of today look like hot teenage girls with short hair. (I like REAL men, thanks.) I also remember Ramblin' Rod and how jealous I was when my cousin got to go on the show (one of my cousins being one of those kids you taught, who is now 27). I also think now that he was vaguely creepy and probably a pedophile.

    One thing that hasn't changed is that I still find Mr. Rogers extremely creepy. I seriously had a nightmare about Mr. Rogers when I was 3 that I woke up screaming from. I told my mom that I'd dreamed that Mr. Rogers came in my room at night and kissed me. Yuck.

    I miss the original Ninja Turtles cartoon. My first and second grade recesses were pretty much built around playing Ninja Turtles with the boys (and refusing to be April O'Neil). I miss my mom letting me ride my bike down the road to the Post Office to get the mail, and sometimes even to the Little Red Store. I know logically that I was 10 or younger when I did this, because we moved away from Fairview when I was 10. Having been back recently to that same street and seeing where the Post Office and Little Red Store were, I realize that either times were completely different or my mom trusted me a lot more than I trust my 10 year old... no way would I let him go that far without me at this point. It's like 8 blocks.

    I'm nostalgic about not viewing everyone I meet as a potential threat, I think. I miss innocence and naivete.

    1. My parents let us pretty much wander free from dawn until dusk. We went all sorts of places. And we lived in a BAD neighborhood. Nothing bad ever happened to us, though. I mean, once a gang of kids attacked us with baseball bats and tried to steal our bicycles. But we had bikes and they didn't, so we rode away.

  2. I'm slightly less old.. But I WAS on Ramblin' Rod twice!!

    1. I once thought I was going to be on Ramblin' Rod, but it turned out to be a stupid event that Ramblin' Rod made an appearance at. I was so disappointed. I couldn't care less about him. I wanted to smile for the camera and cheer for the cartoons.

      And Misty you are definitely not old. I was your camp counselor once.